Medicare Physicians

News & Analysis as of

President Obama Signs SGR Repeal Legislation; New Physician Payment Methodology Begins in 2019

On April 16, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). MACRA repeals the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that was set to cut Medicare Physician Fee...more

Passage of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA): The “Doc Fix”

The President has signed into law the bipartisan bill H.R. 2, the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” which permanently repeals the flawed Sustained Growth Rate (SGR) formula and replaces it with a stable...more

Permanent “Doc Fix” Legislation Substitutes Merit-Based Incentive Payment System for SGR, and Contains Other Reimbursement and...

In addition to finally repealing the so-called sustainable growth rate methodology (“SGR”) for adjusting Medicare physician payments that Congress has overridden consistently since 2004, the newly enacted Medicare Access and...more

Beyond SGR – MACRA Provides Additional Payment Provisions and Offsets

This is the second post in our continuing series on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). Pub.L. No: 114-10. In addition to repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), which was covered in our April 20th...more

“Doc Fix” Signed into Law; 21% Physician Pay Cut Avoided

President Obama has signed the “doc fix” into law, which permanently avoids a 21% pay cut for physicians that was slated to take effect this April. The law received broad bipartisan support, passing in the House of...more

Congress Repeals Sustainable Growth Rate Formula and Advances Medicare Payment for Quality

On April 14, 2015, Congress ended over a decade of repeated “doc fixes” which temporarily suspended scheduled Medicare provider reimbursement cuts, by passing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (the “Act”). If...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Doc Fix Statute Contains a Lot More than SGR Repeal

On April 16, 2015, the President signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, commonly known as the “Doc Fix.” As has been extensively reported, the Act repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate or (SGR)...more

SGR Law Brings Changes to CMP Prohibition on Gainsharing

On April 16, President Barack Obama signed into law the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” ending a perennial struggle over the Medicare reimbursement formula for physicians. Although the law is most...more

President Signs MACRA: Permanently Reforms Medicare Physician Reimbursement Framework, Includes Other Medicare Payment, Program...

On April 16, 2015” (MACRA), which reforms Medicare payment policy for physician services and adopts a series of policy changes affecting a wide range of providers and suppliers. Most notably, MACRA permanently repeals...more

Senate Approves Medicare “Doc Fix” Legislation

We wrote in late March about the U.S. House of Representatives passing SGR legislation intended to be a permanent cure to Medicare’s “doc fix” legislation. ...more

Congress Repeals Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)

MGMA has published the following alert: Congress repeals SGR! In a significant victory for physician group practices and MGMA, late last night the Senate voted (92-8) to approve the Medicare Access and CHIP...more

CMS Issues Proposed Modifications to Meaningful Use Rule

On Friday, April 10, 2015, CMS issued a proposed rule containing several important modifications to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Among the most notable proposals is to move eligible hospitals from a...more

OIG Nixes Arrangements Involving Free Tests

Labs Attempt to Counter Exclusive Lab Arrangements - With increasing frequency, clinical laboratories have found themselves unable to receive any payments for tests performed for individuals whose third-party insurer...more

Developments in White Collar Criminal Enforcement: The Government Remains Aggressive, and the Courts' Reaction Is Mixed

The first quarter of 2015 witnessed a continuing effort by government lawyers to push the boundaries of criminal statutes in white collar cases—from health care fraud to corporate misconduct and beyond. Two recent cases...more

CMS Releases Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the Stage 3 proposed rule to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs (“Proposed Rule”) on March 20, 2015. To provide context,...more

Permanent Doc Fix Bill Approved by House; Senate to Vote in Coming Weeks

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted 392-37 to approve the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2), a bill that would, among other things, permanently replace the sustainable...more

OIG: Exclusive laboratory arrangement may violate Antikickback Statute and result in exclusion for excessive charges

On March 25, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued Advisory Opinion 15-04, which found that an exclusive arrangement between a laboratory and its referring physician practices could violate the Federal...more

HHS Publishes Proposed Stage 3 EHR Incentive Program, Health IT Certification Rules

On March 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its proposed rule on Stage 3 meaningful use criteria, which focus on the advanced use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology to promote...more

Senate Recesses Without Taking up House-Approved SGR Fix Legislation

The Senate has adjourned until April 13, 2015 without taking action on the House-approved Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, which would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, reform Medicare physician...more

CMS Publishes Update to DME Items Subject to Face-to-Face Encounter, Written Order Prior to Delivery Requirements

Today CMS published a notice updating the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes on the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) List of “Specified Covered Items” that require a face-to-face encounter and a written...more

On the Horizon … A Possible “Permanent” Cure to Medicare’s “Doc Fix”

In a historic bipartisan moment, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a nearly 300-page bill that is intended to “repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate [“SGR”] and strengthen Medicare access by improving physician...more

News from MGMA re SGR Repeal

Historic SGR repeal passes in House - Today, the House of Representatives passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, H.R. 2, by a vote of 392–37. This legislation permanently repeals the SGR and returns...more

House Approves Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act

Repeals SGR Formula, Adopts Medicare and Other Policy Changes - Today the U.S. House of Representatives approved a major Medicare package, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which would reform...more

No SGR Action by Senate

Senate leaves for recess with no action on SGR repeal - Despite a successful vote in the House yesterday, the Senate failed to bring to a vote legislation to repeal the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)...more

House Plans to Vote Thursday on Medicare Physician Payments, CHIP Extension Legislation

After a decade of short-term actions, congressional leaders are pushing this week to permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that governs Medicare physician payment rates, and replace the system with one...more

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